National WWII Museum Review New Orleans

National WWII Museum Review New Orleans

National WWII Museum Review New OrleansBring tissues.  Lots of them.  If you have any heart at all, you will cry at the National WWII Museum in New Orleans.  Odd, I lived in New Orleans, and never visited.  It opened in June of 2000 at the “National D-Day Museum” conceived by two local scholars, Stephen E. Ambrose and Gordon H. “Nick” Mueller, PhDs.

An act of Congress in 2004 designated the facility as “America’s National WWII Museum.”  Comprised of exhibits detailing the operations in both the European and Pacific theaters, as well as related activity on the homefront, the museum is housed in multiple specially built structures, and the staging of the exhibits goes way beyond what most are used to seeing in historical museums, with lifesize dioramas, airplanes and vehicles, professionally made videos with historical coverage and much more.

Inside the Campus

After paying your admission, you start your self-guided (guided are also available) tour by being handed a plastic card with a dog tag number on it.  National WWII Museum Review New OrleansEach number represents the story of a single person from the war, including members of the allied and axis forces, POWs, internees in prison camps both overseas in the US.  You can swipe your card at many stations throughout the museum to get updates on “your person,” and review it when at home at a special website, “The Dog Tag Experience.”   Myh assigned person was Charlotte Weiss, a member of a Jewish family in Teresva, Czechoslovakia.

It’s a lot of ground to cover, but the museum is well planned, with benches, washrooms and water fountains throughout if you need a break.  I’m personally not much of museum person (except for dinosaurs and science) and I spent over four hours there and could have easily extended the visit.

Eats and Such

Need a break in the middle? Have a bite to eat or an adult beverage at the “American Sector” cafe, with a complete lunch and dinner menu available.  Local and traditional American favorites are available, sandwiches and entrees, as well as appetizers, salads and a brunch menu on weekends.  Lighter fare and sweets area available at Jeri Nims Soda Shop.  BB’s Stage Door Canteen offers live music of the era on weekends (additional charge), as well as cuisine and beverages for a pre-dinner show if one is so inclined.


At New Orleans Lake Ponchartrain, book a ride on fully reserved PT Boat from WWII.  Built in New Orleans by Higgins Industries, the patrol-torpedo (PT) boat PT-305 was a critical asset for the US Navy during World War II, serving in European waters from 1944 to the end of the war. The ship served many other uses after the war and was found festering in dry dock in Houston and acquired by the museum in 2007.  Tours only are offered Wed, Thur, Fri, and Sun at various times.  Rides are Saturdays only, children under 12 not permitted.  Advance purchase of tickets for rides is highly recommended.  A short video on the restoration effort is below.


Besides buying admission tickets, there are lots of ways to financially support this worthy endeavor, including straight out donations, annual memberships, or sponsoring a “brick” to honor a loved one who served.  Consider a gift to the museum.






National WWII Museum Review New Orleans